[WikiEN-l] Fair use issues; we need serious help

Bryan Derksen bryan.derksen at shaw.ca
Sun Jul 22 09:24:09 UTC 2007

geni wrote:
> On 7/22/07, Bryan Derksen <bryan.derksen at shaw.ca> wrote:
>> Fair use images are allowed under current policy in many situations,
>> however. Perhaps those who wish to see it completely eliminated should
>> start up their own project instead? It cuts both ways.
> Fairly limited situations and I didn't say I wanted it completely
> eliminated I simply feel that a project that pushes on the limits of
> US fair use law is not compatible with the aim of producing a free
> encyclopedia.

Wikipedia's fair use policies are more conservative than what the laws
themselves allow, we don't "push on the limits".

>> IMO "love it or leave it" is not a particularly useful argument when
>> what's being debated is what "it" actually is.
> "It" is a free encyclopedia. Overuse of fair use is not part of this.

But the meaning of "overuse" is exactly the issue of contention. We're
trying to build a good-quality encyclopedia, not just a free one, and
the inclusion of some fair use material improves its quality greatly. In
some cases it's necessary in order for us to have a decent article on
certain subjects (quotations of copyrighted text are fair use too, after

So we get into a situation where "free" and "encyclopedia" are in direct
conflict and a compromise needs to be hammered out. Telling one side or
the other to just take a hike is unhelpful.

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